Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Passionate Students and Personal Sites Resolved?

It is funny how things work sometimes. I have recently blogged about passionate students and the myspace constroversy and began praying about a week ago for the answer to the former. God has seemed to provide at least a path or the start of an answer for both.

This past weeked my students and I attended
Battlecry (Acquire the Fire) in Detroit, MI at Ford Field. By the way it was amazing, so many students I could not believe it. Anyway, I went thinking this would be a good thing for our students to go to. I thought that I could go and build relationships with them, but that I wouldn't get much out of it spiritually.

Man, was I wrong. God gave me a wake-up call this weekend. It would take too long to get into all of it right now, but lets just say my original passion for students that I had when I first started is back. I feel charged up and ready go, but thats not all, I now feel more equipped because I have direction and vision.

Through Ron Luce and the Battlecry event I have been challenged to go to my knees to pray about the vision for our youth minstry. I have faith that in a week or two or maybe in a minute that God will confirm in my mind where we need to go and what we need to do.

Please pray for me and our church. I know one thing for sure, God wants us to reach out to the students in our area.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot at Battlecry.com Ron's orgaization Teen Mania has spent over $300K starting a website that will give anyone that wants one a free personal webpage. These pages are really for Christians that want to stay connected and want to be accountable. They will help students be accountable to one another to carry out their goal of reaching their school. They also offer a free blog as a part of the page. Each site goes through an approval process when it is updated so no fear of any inappropriate sites.

However, don't be confused this is not like a Xanga or a Myspace. Students can not customize it as much and can not link whatever site they want. This site was created to help Christians carryout their "battle plans" for reaching out to others. I think it is a good thing, check it out at Battlecry.com and watch some of the videos there.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The MySpace.com Controversy Hits Hammond, IN

Recently a large church in our area expelled some students from their school. Their crime, the content on their personal myspace.com sites. Apparently some of the students said bad things about the church and school; while others simply linked to their favorite musician’s webpage. The church found out about the pages and printed them off. The pastor of the church spent significant time during his sermon talking about the pages and then held a meeting with the parents and the students after church to discuss the issue.

One thing you must understand is this church is very conservative. They don't believe music should have a back beat. The ladies can only wear skirts. The men can not have long hair and they can not grow facial hair. They only read the KJV; all other translations by their estimation are blasphemous. So you can see why this would be a problem in a church this extremely conservative.

However, in my mind the issue still remains; how much should churches and schools get involved in regulating personal web pages? Should a student be expelled for what he or she puts on these pages? Can they face punishment for the type of sites they link to? Should the church take a firm stand against these sites? How much of it is a free speech issue? All these questions have been plaguing me as I think about this controversy, but the biggest question of all in my mind is where are the parents in all of this? Why does so much of the web activity for students go unregulated?

The answers at this point are unclear; the solution seems to be far off in the distance. And scripture... Is it silent on these issues or can we find some principles to help parents make the right choices about myspace.com.